Hepworth first began to pierce her carvings in 1931, when she made a 'Pierced Form' in pink alabaster. This process was to become an essential element of many of the artist's later carvings. It represented both a liberation from naturalism, and the freedom of expression granted by abstraction. This abstraction nevertheless remained inspired by the landscape and wildlife about her. Hepworth gained immense pleasure from piercing the stone purely 'to make an abstract form and space: quite a different sensation from that of doing it for the purpose of realism.'